Tag Archives: Camp Pendleton

Vista Wedding Reception and Baby Shower at Shady Canyon

21 Aug
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Thibodo Park Wedding Venue

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred went on the road and provided bartending service at a Vista wedding reception and then at a Shady Canyon baby shower the next day. I also had one of my other bartenders do a wedding reception in Tujunga on Saturday night. It is getting to the point where I have much repeat business and am having to send multiple bartenders out each week.

The wedding reception in Vista was held at Thibodo Park , a beautiful little out of the way location operated by the City of Vista Recreation Department. Chef Shawna of Best Mobile Catering of Oceanside hired me and L&S Productions of San Diego did the wedding coordination. It was a pleasure working with both of them, and they obviously are very good at what they do. We were of service to over 100 guests and I think everybody went away happy.  

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Toasts at Vista Wedding Reception

The groom was a decorated member of the Marine Corps and was in full uniform and so were some of the guests. I am always reminded when in San Diego that it is a military town. I once did a wedding reception on the beach at Camp Pendleton, where they have a resort for military members. I served wine and beer at the Vista reception and we used a punch card system, where the guests were limited to three drinks each. That worked well, and nobody got out of control.

The next day I drove up to Irvine to the Shady Canyon Golf Club Golf Club to bartend a baby shower. It was the second party I have done at that location. They have a very nice clubhouse for the residents (apart from golf club house). The host put a lot of work into decorating the event and it looked fabulous.

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Fruit tray at Irvine Baby Shower

I set up my portable bar in the corner of courtyard. There were about 100 ladies in attendance and I served mimosas and beer. There were two servers that distributed drinks to ladies as I poured them. I kept pretty busy pouring for at least four hours and emptied over a case of champagne.

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Elegant table setup at Shady Canyon

This coming weekend I have events in Hidden Hills, Hawthorne, and Mission Viejo, and I am happy to report that is all repeat business. I just got a call this morning from a past customer for two more events – a movie premier and a baby shower. I am not bidding on any jobs in December and believe I will keep busy with repeat business only. The whole December calendar is open at this point, but that is going to change quickly after September 1. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

Camp Pendleton Wedding

24 Jun
A wedding scene

A wedding scene

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Bride and Groom on beach

Traditional chair dance

Traditional chair dance

Sunday I was the bartender at a wedding on the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton. They have a very nice beach resort there for active and retired members of the military. All branches of the military may enjoy the resort, not just Marines.  They have one and two bedroom villas on the beach available for rent at significant better rates than local hotels in the area, you can check out the website of the Del Mar Beach Resort. The wedding that I attended was on the sand in a tent.  All Occasion Disk Jockeys provided the wedding entertainment.

First of all, what I imagined and what the wedding was like were two very different things. I had exchanged several emails with the bride about the drink menu and shopping list, but had never actually talked to her on the phone. I assumed she was marrying a Marine and there would be many Marines in attendance in full uniform. I know that Marines can drink, so I made a shopping list accordingly. Fortunately, the bride knew better and didn’t exactly follow my shopping list or she would have bought way too much.

As it turns out the bride is a doctor in the Navy, and that was her connection to the military. There were no Marines in attendance! I was only bummed because I wanted a picture taken of me surrounded by Marines in full uniform! It was a very nice wedding despite of my expectations and a perfect scenic setting for a very memorable event.

Mojitos were one of the drinks on the drink menu. Mojitos are a very labor intensive drink and I usually make large batches of them. Also, Mojitos require many, many limes. I ran out of limes at this wedding and had to stop making Mojitos. I do not recommend having Mojitos for parties over 40 people. They are just too time consuming to make and will slow service way down.

This week I have a screening event to do in Hollywood, and then am heading down south to San Clemente to bartend a birthday party. Again, I will be making Mojitos. The Forth of July is still open on my schedule. I did not get a Forth of July party last year and hope I am not going to get skunked again. Oh well, I could just enjoy the forth with my own family and freinds, couldn’t I?

Newport Beach Graduation Party

16 Jun

Sunday Shaken Not Stirred was present at a back yard graduation party in Newport Beach. It was a very nice home for entertaining and I set up my portable bar and table next to the pool. I was a little nervous I was going to fall in and I have done that before at a party, so it is a real concern. As it turns out, I didn’t fall into the pool, but some others did, but I will tell about that later.

I brought my martini glasses and we decided upon a menu of Dirty Martini’s, Gimlets, and Lemon Drops, with Cadillac Margaritas as the mixed drink. I served Heinekens and Coronas, and Chardonnay. A friend of the family did the cooking, and he fixed beef brisket, pork, baked beans and macaroni salad. I must say that the baked beans he served were some of the best I’ve ever eaten in my life.

The weather was perfect – not too hot, but just warm enough. It was a very mellow party and many people were not drinking alcohol because they had to work the next day and had to drive. I was scheduled to bartend until 10 pm and about 8pm I was thinking the party would not last until 10. They weren’t playing any music and many people were leaving. I have noticed at other parties, if the music is not on, or playing too low, the party gets sleepy and people start leaving.

Well, around 8pm a core group was still there and they cranked the music up. I had served many drinks but did not think anyone was drunk or over the limit. I was serving home made lemoncello, made by the host. It is made from 190 proof grain alcohol and lemons. It is thick like syrup and mixes well with club soda. Some of the guests had shots of that. Just a nice after dinner drink fitting for a graduation party in Newport Beach.

With the music playing the party caught a second wind. Someone pushed someone into the pool and then suddenly several more were in the pool – some with all their clothes on and others in various stages of undress. All of the dominoes started to tumble…Those people who were not yet in the pool were put on notice that they would be next, including me! I wouldn’t have minded, but was wearing an expensive silk shirt. Anyway, the situation kind of reminded me of the stadium scene in “Apocalypse Now”. The host had me quickly wrap up the bar at that point. I honestly did not see that coming at all. The moral of this story is watch out for the lemoncello! Next weekend I’m doing a party in Lancaster, and a wedding at the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendlelton.

Cadillac Margarita and Dirty Vodka Martini

Cadillac Margarita and Dirty Vodka Martini

Me shaking martini in silk shirt just inches from water

Me shaking martini in silk shirt just inches from water

Notorious home made lemoncello

Notorious home made lemoncello

Recent graduate goes for a swim...

Recent graduate goes for a swim…

Laguna Niguel Birthday Party

19 Jan

January is usually a slow month in the bartending business. People don’t generally have weddings in January and after the holiday season; people are pretty much partied out. When people have parties in January, they are generally birthday parties, anniversaries,or fundraisers.

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred worked a birthday party in Laguna Niguel. The theme was “Mustaches and Martinis”. I have been getting a lot of calls to Orange County recently. The host had made a drink menu for the event, which included a Category 5 Cosmo (named after a category 5 hurricane), a Dirty Martini, and a Jalapeno Cucumber Martini. I had never made the cucumber martini before – it was a creation of the host and I think it was a hit. I muddled mint leaves and jalapenos in a shaker, then added a bit a simple syrup, cucumber infused vodka, Kettle One vodka, and then shook it up with ice and poured it over a cucumber slice. The result they told me was a little spicy, a little sweet, and a little strong.

The secret I think to making good drinks, especially martinis is to use very little mixer. People accuse me of making strong drinks, and I can always add more mixer, but I can’t take too much sweet and sour out of a drink, for instance. Those are the drinks that end up sitting on the counter somewhere, undrank. To me, there is nothing worse than ordering a drink at say, a hotel bar, and it comes out tasting like pure mixer. Many corporate places limit the amount of alcohol their bartenders can put in a drink, and the result is very predictable. Ever notice the best drinks are served in dive bars?

The birthday party was hosted at a condo. They set up the bar on the balcony, but I had to stand in the master bedroom behind the bar. I was essentially a bartender in a bedroom. That is totally fine. I will bartend any place, any where. If you are thinking about having a party and hiring a bartender and are reluctant because you don’t have some fancy bar, think again, because that isn’t required. Guest are always impressed by a bartender, and the hosts can enjoy themselves and mingle, not having to worry about the bar.

Laguna Beach in January

Laguna Beach in January

Host in disguise

Host in disguise

Bar set up in bedroom

Bar set up in bedroom

I have booked a few weddings way out – even in October. This season seems to be heating up and there have been way more inquiries than last year. I am even doing a Wedding at Camp Pendleton, on the Marine Corps base. Book your party now, and don’t stress about it later. Chances are, you’ll have to pay more money if you book at the last minute. That being said, don’t hesitate to call me last minute. I won’t gouge you, I promise.